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The Situation Room

News/Business. Wolf Blitzer. Traditional reporting and online resources update international news. New.

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Us 38, U.s. 34, Obama 29, China 24, Libya 20, Israel 19, Benghazi 17, U.n. 15, New York 14, America 14, United States 11, Colorado 9, Jimmy Carter 9, United Nations 8, Washington 8, Paul Ryan 8, Iran 7, Florida 7, Syria 6, Cymbalta 5,
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  CNN    The Situation Room    News/Business. Wolf Blitzer. Traditional reporting  
   and online resources update international news. New.  

    September 24, 2012
    1:00 - 4:00pm PDT  

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so that gives you an idea of the level of trust that the colombian government is placing upon those women. and also how important they have become. >> rafael, thank you very much. >> thank you. >> that is it for me here in atlanta. still getting over the fact that smokey robinson serenaded me a couple of minutes ago. thank you so much for watching. "the situation room" with wolf blitzer begins now. thanks very much. happening now, mitt romney launches a new tour of battleground states attacking president obama for calling the latest setbacks in the middle east bumps in the road. the president is focusing in on world peace as he prepares to address the united nations. he's also making time to woo women voters. and a tv first, u.s. marines are giving new details about one of the costliest attacks on u.s. airpower in decades. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room."
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with only 43 days to go until the presidential election, mitt romney is starting to zero in on a handful of battleground states that will decide this election. one of those states is colorado, where romney just wrapped up a rally at the pueblo airport. our national political correspondent jim acosta is standing by live. jim, what happened? >> reporter: wolf, with the calendar shrinking and the debates fast approaching, mitt romney is starting to barnstorm through crucial swing states like here in colorado. he knows he has serious ground to make up. today he tried to do just that on the subject of foreign policy. it's not debate time yet, but mitt romney was looking for one on foreign policy in front of a crowd in colorado. that's where the gop contender laid into president obama for describing the recent unrest in the middle east as bumps in the
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road on "60 minutes." >> i was pretty certain and continue to be pretty certain that there are going to be bumps in the road because in a lot of these places, the one organizing principal has been islam. >> he says the developments in the middle east are bumps in the road. yeah, that was my reaction. bumps in the road? we had an ambassador assassinated. these are not bumps in the road. these are human lives. >> reporter: romney has some catching up to do in campaign battlegrounds across the country. cnn's latest poll of polls shows the president with an edge in three critical states. in colorado by three. in ohio by five. and in florida by four. >> let's find at least one person who voted for barack obama last time. >> reporter: as he's done repeatedly at recent eves, romney urged his supporters in colorado to go to work and phone a friend. >> i want you to find them and talk to them and ask them whether they can't vote in favor of someone who will bring real change and strengthen america
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again. >> reporter: romney and paul ryan hope to close the gap in ohio next with a bus tour across the state, trying to explain why he's trailing, romney complained on his campaign plane the president is not fighting fair. >> he's trying to fool people into thinking that i think things i don't. >> reporter: and he said some of his ads have failed with fact-checkers. >> do we see sometimes us going overboard in our campaign? are mistakes made? are areas where there's no doubt that somebody could dispute how we are presenting things? that happens in politics. >> reporter: but the same fact-checkers have been just as critical of romney's ads, like this one accusing the president of gutting the work requirement in welfare. >> they just send you your welfare check and welfare to work goes back to being plain, old welfare. >> reporter: the obama campaign's latest ad uses romney's own words from that hidden camera video showing the gop nominee going off on voters
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who don't pay federal income taxes. after days of second-guessing from conservative critic, romney took responsibility for the remarks. >> that's not a campaign. that's me. >> reporter: the obama campaign released a statement accusing romney of using the libya incident tlaunch attacks saying it's beneath someone seeking to be commander in chief. but it's the latest example of both sides trying to turn winning the news cycle into winning this election. >> any hint we're getting what romney will talk about tomorrow when he goes to new york and addresses the clinton -- the bill clinton global initiative? the president will be there as well. >> reporter: wolf, we don't know at this point. that is one item that they are keeping very close to the vest and they've been doing that for several da now. on a conference call this morning, the romney senior
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adviser suggests that romney might be laying out new specifics suggesting that this might be a reboot to the campaign. but there's been sort of reboot after reboot after reboot, it will be interesting to see what mitt romney says to the clinton global initiative tomorrow because obviously this is not exactly friendly territory for mitt romney. bill clinton went after mitt romney at the democratic convention just a few weeks ago. so it will be all eyes on mitt romney, not only on what he says but his posture as well. >> how the interrelationship there is with the former president as well, given that speech he delivered at the democratic convention in charlotte. jim acosta, thanks very much. president obama is already in new york city where he hosted a reception for heads of state tonight. addresses the united nations tomorrow. but he's also made some time in his very busy schedule to tape an appearance on "the view." not necessarily everyone is all that happy about that. let's bring in our chief white house correspondent, jessica yellin. give us a little background
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here. >> reporter: hi, wolf. not everyone is happy because he's not taking any sitdown meetin with other heads of state, including with israeli prime minister benjamin netanyahu. the two leaders aren't even in new york city at the same time. the president is making this one a very quick trip before he hits the campaign trail again. heading into a big week, president obama was asked if he's under pressure from israel's prime minister to step up his efforts against iran. he told cbs -- >> i am going to block out any noise that's out there. >> reporter: the romney campaign bounced, accusing the president of a chronic disregard for the security of israel. and he's taking heat for this, too. the president arrived in new york a day ahead of his big speech to the united nations. and he sat down for a one-on-one with the ladies of "the view," but not with foreign heads of state. >> he has time for whoopi goldberg but not for world
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leaders? >> chris, they have telephones in the white house. last week, he talked to the president of egypt. he talked to the leader in libya. >> reporter: yes, it's foreign policy election season edition. >> unfortunately in american election cycles, foreign policy becomes not so much an issue of demonstrating wisdom as it is an issue for demonstrating toughness. so i think you'll see a lot of that from the president in his speech. >> reporter: the president speaks to the u.n. generally assembly tuesday morning. administration officials say he will address the issue at the heart of the tension with israel's prime minister, iran's nuclear program. >> i don't think you'll see any daylight in the u.s./israel alliance. but i think the president needs to show that he is not dawdling on the question of iran. he's got a robust diplomacy in mind. he's got a sanctions program. and as he's said many times, he's left everything on the table. >> reporter: he will also
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address the violence in the middle east that claimed the lives of four americans. the secretary of state offered a preview. >> extremists around the world are working hard to drive us apart. all of us need to stand together to resist these forces and to support democratic transitions under way in north africa and the middle east. >> reporter: and, wolf, at the end of those comments, the secretary of state went on to say the president will have further comments about the arab world and those circumstances. now, the president is -- one of the reasons the president is not sitting down with world leaders, if he does that, he avoids making any inadvertent news-making moments. if he took a meeting with one ally, that would open up the request for meetings with many others. no meetings means he insults everybody and nobody. but compare this to 4 in his own
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reelection bid, former president george bush met with nearly half a dozen leaders when he came to the u.n. back then. >> thanks very much for that, appreciate it, jessica. let's dig a little deeper with our cheer political analyst, gloria borger. his speech tomorrow before the united nations general assembly, he'll be addressing the whole world. but it's in the context of a political campaign back at home. >> it's a perfect platform for him. commander in chief before the u.n. gives him an opportunity as a former barambassador chris hi said. but this is a president who doesn't want to rock the boat. there are a lot of troubles out there particularly in the middle east given what happened in libya and given what's happening with protests throughout the middle east. it's an opportunity for mitt romney to take on this president on foreign policy. president obama still does
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better than mitt romney when it comes to foreign policy. but if romney can lower the altitude of the president's polls somewhat, that can only help him. so i think what you see from both jim acosta and jessica is that these are candidates now -- the president on the one hand, don't rock the boat, and mitt romney trying to shake it up a little bit, particularly in terms of the president's ratings as commander in chief. >> do you think they're having any second thoughts about his decision to go ahead to appear with the ladies on "the view" while he's avoiding meetings with world leaders at the united nations? >> i think ladies would be the key point there, wolf, because of course, women are so important to this president's reelection. take a look at these numbers. there's a new poll out today that politico did of likely voters. who are you going to vote for for president? and you see that the president's up nine points with women. mitt romney is up six points with men.
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so the president wants to increase his numbers with women just in case mitt romney starts doing a little bit better with men. it's kind of like a seesaw there. and i think the president's poll numbers right after the convention, he was leading with women by double digits. he's still ahead but it's declined to a certain degree. so if you're running the president's reelection campaign, you cannot get enough women to vote for you. what mitt romney is looking for is those suburban married women. what the president is really looking for, is those single, more urban women and get them enthusiastic about coming out to vote. >> a lot of women watch "the view," no doubt about that. and last week when he was on letterman, he's reaching out to a younger audience, part of that base that he's courting. romney all along said this was going to be a referendum on the president, this election. but he sounded a little different on "60 minutes." i'll play this clip. >> i think the president's
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right. i think this is a very clear choice for the american people as to what america's future will look like. >> is that a nuance or a shift? >> it's interesting to hear him talk about choice, right? because this was supposed to be a referendum. and i think what they've decided, from my conversations inside the romney campaign, is that just saying that you're not president obama isn't enough. so you have to talk about your vision for the future versus the president's vision for the future. and that's what this reboot or third reboot is all about. >> 3.0, is that what you're saying? >> 4.0. >> gloria, thanks. paul begala and alex castellanos are standing by live. we'll continue this discussion with them. also, there's new trouble at one of apple's parts suppliers. a brawl involving some 2,000 factory workers explodes into the street. and look at this, the car in front of this tractor-trailer slammed on its brakes and the truck driver had nowhere else to
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a presidential comparison that may or may not work. jack cafferty has that in "the cafferty file." >> 2012 is not 1980 and mitt romney is no ronald reagan, at least that's the message coming from many republicans about their party's presidential candidate, romney. politico reports that comparisons to the 1980 race when incumbent president jimmy
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carter lost to reagan in a landslide just don't hold up. one reagan biographer calls the comparison a stretch and says romney needs to do a lot more at this point to win than reagan did. for starters, president obama remains personally popular among americans despite a grim economy. obama's approval is right around 50% compared to just 37% for jimmy carter at this point in the 1980 campaign. although reagan trailed carter in some of the polls, kind of like romney, his unfavorable ratings were not increasing. romney just isn't connecting with voters in the way that reagan did. plus, reagan was the overwhelming favorite of the republican base. with mitt romney, a lot of conservatives have never managed to warm up to him that much. another big difference between 1980 and today is the electoral map. ronald reagan ultimately carried one in four democrats in that election. amazing. it's hard to imagine romney ever pulling that off in today's highly polarized electorate. and the economy today is not
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nearly as bad as it was 32 years ago when we had long gas lines, gas shortages, double-digit inflation and double-digit interest rates. nevertheless, one top romney adviser says the 1980 race shows that there's no need to panic if romney is down in the polls at this point, which he is in most of them. it's worth pointing out that it's not the first time that president obama, a weakened liberal incumbent with a troubled economy and problems in the middle east, has been compared to former bt jimmy carter. that's the question. how is romney-obama like reagan-carter? post a comment on my blog or go to our post on "the situation room's" facebook page. >> and you remember americans were held hostage 444 days in iran during that last year-plus of the jimmy carter administration which certainly didn't help him either. >> no. and he had that failed rescue attempt where the marine choppers went in and tried to get the hostages out and they
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crashed and we lost service people and the hostages were held even longer. >> in contrast to president obama. he had a successful rescue -- successful effort against bin laden that worked. >> yep, yep. but this little thing in benghazi doesn't reflect too well on him. >> thanks very much. a brawl at a major supplier for apple. lisa sylvester is monitoring that and some of the other top stories in "the situation room" right now. >> a massive riot forced a foxconn plant that makes parts for apple and other manufacturers to shut down in central china. some 2,000 workers were involved. officials say at least 40 people had to be take ton the hospital and there were a number of arrests. apple says it has sold more than 5 million of its iphone 5 units since friday's debut. that is a record. but it's still slightly disappointing to investors. they were hoping for 6 million in sales. and check out these incredible pictures. that is a semi truck nearly falling off of a bridge in southern brazil.
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police say the driver lost control of the rig. he hung in his cab for about half an hour until he was lifted out by rescue crews with a rope. the accident happened friday. but authorities are still trying to remove the trailer. they can't use a crane because they fear it's too heavy for the bridge. and germany is looking into whether tkt prosecute a former nazi camp guard now living here in the united states. the guard admitted he was a guard at aushwitz. and shorty, the hurricane katrina dog, is said to belong to one woman and her family. but she is willing to return shorty to his originally owners in louisiana who had to give him up after katrina. he wants to make sure they take good care of him. shorty was found wandering along a road two weeks ago. it was a microchip on his body
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that helped identify his originally owners. looks like he's got two happy owners. but he's going back to the original owners. >> i'm sure the dog will be very happy with those owners. mitt romney says he won't raise taxes on middle class americans. he's leaving out, though, some specifics on what he would do as far as future tax cuts. paul begala, alex castellanos are both standing by live. [ woman ] it's 32 minutes to go time, and the candidate's speech is in pieces all over the district.
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the writer's desktop and the coordinator's phone are working on a joke with local color. the secure cloud just received a revised intro from the strategist's tablet. and while i make my way into the venue, the candidate will be rehearsing off of his phone. [ candidate ] and thanks to every young face i see out there. [ woman ] his phone is one of his biggest supporters. [ female announcer ] with cisco at the center... working together has never worked so well. his morning starts with arthritis pain. and two pills. afternoon's overhaul starts with more pain. moreills. triple checking hydraulics. the evening brings more pain. so, back to more pills. almost done, when... hang on. stan's doctor recommended aleve. it can keep pain away all day with fewer pills than tylenol. this is rudy. who switched to aleve. and two pills for a day free of pain. ♪ and get the all day pain relief of aleve in liquid gels.
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without shriners hospitals, my life would be completely different. when i was seven, we found out i had scoliosis. everything changed when they stepped in. it was like they gave me my future back tori's life is one of nearly a million changed by donations from people like you. send your love to the rescue. donate today. a new obama campaign ad slamming mitt romney over those comments about 47% of the american electorate. joining us now to discuss what's going on, two cnn contributors. the democratic strategist, paul begala. senior strategist for the democratic fund-raising group's priorities usa and priorities usa action. also joining us, the republican strategist, alex castellanos, the co-founder of purple
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strategies, a bipartisan communications work. gentlemen, as usual, thanks for coming in. a new obama campaign ad out today running in ohio. listen to this. >> mitt romney attacked 47% of americans who pay no income tax, including veterans, elderly, the disabled. >> my job is not to worry about those people. >> doesn't the president have to worry about everyone? mitt romney paid just 14.1% in taxes last year. he keeps billions in bermuda and the cayman islands and won't release his tax returns before 2010. >> alex, that's a pretty powerful ad in ohio, don't you think? >> mitt romney sounds like a bad man. oh! >> that's a pretty -- >> scary stuff. >> but as far as a political campaign commercial, what would you give that? >> it's pretty straightforward, pretty tough. punditry is tough.
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mitt romney was playing pundit in that room. he said, i'm concentrating on swing voters. candidates should be candidates and lead the country and not talk politics. but that kind of thing does hurt. the only thing that voters, i think, is worse for a candidate that when voters decide that they don't like you is when voters decide that you, the candidate, may not like them. and they saw a teeny hint of that in that. that's so different than the mitt romney i know. here's a guy who we all want to take care of our neighbors as ourselves. and so many politicians in washington, they're happy to take care of people with other people's money. mitt romney's done it with his own time, with his own effort. with his own heart. he's taken care of people with a lot of his money. he's such a different guy than we saw there. >> he gives a huge percentage to charity. >> he does. but he does not pay his fair share of taxes. which is disgraceful. it's legal. >> totally legal. >> the governor's released two years of tax returns. his father set the bar at 12 and
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said beware of anyone who releases just one because they could pretty it up. governor romney seemed to show contempt -- i think he was saying i can't worry about getting their votes. even i don't think he was saying, i don't care about their lives. >> i think that's right. >> in that sense, probably wasn't the fairest clip to take out of that. but this question of releasing his tax returns will dog him till the election, maybe till the next election he runs in. people want to know. you have this vast fortune. only paying 14%. by the way, we could have paid less because of the loopholes he uses but he won't tell us which loophole he'll close. i bet he would save the loopholes that have saved him so many millions of dollars and hammered the middle class. >> but, you know, tax law says this is what he has to pay. he paid what he has to pay. >> capital gains is 15%. salaried income is 35%. so he was paying the 15%, which he doesn't get a salary.
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he makes his money through investments. >> right. but unlike the billionaire investor warren buffett who pays no more than the government requires, he thinks we need a fairer tax system that rewards a different class -- >> that's a different question. you have capital gains and investments. you pay 15% on that but you also get a salary. you pay 35% on that assuming you make more than $150,000 a year. >> and like warren buffett, mitt romney gives a tremendous percentage of what he makes to help other people. >> and warren buffett is charitable, too. >> if i walk by a bank, the law says i can't require it. but the law doesn't require me to give them more my my money. >> but when working poor people, a lot of them pay 15% of their income in tax through the payroll tax, that's higher than romney pays. there is something wrong with rewarding wealth and punishing work. democrats and the president said, let's cut tax for the middle class -- >> here's another clip from the
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"60 minutes" romney interview last night. then we'll discuss. >> i can tell them specifically what my policy looks like. i will not raise taxes on middle income folks. i will not lower the share of taxes paid by high income individuals. and i will make sure we bring down rates, we limit deducks and exemptions. and we encourage growth in jobs. if you want to work together with people across the aisle, you lay out your principles in your policy, you work together with them. but you don't hand them a complete document and say, take this or leave it. leadership is not a take it or leave it thing. >> the question is, should he lay out specifically what exemptions and deductions he wants to eliminate as a part of this tax plan because people say he has to be more specific than just saying the highest income brackets go down from 35% to 28%. >> he's not being any more specific than president obama is on reducing entitlements and what he'd cut.
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why? both of these men, if elected president, want to go to congress and they don't want to have already prenegotiated or given away their positions. that's understandable. but romney does make a good point. that is right now the tax code incentivizes people who have a lot of economic success to take advantage of loopholes, not grow the economy and create more jobs and wealth. he wants to change that. you don't raise taxes but you incentivize people to grow america -- >> but the president has to associate with republicans on a lot of these -- he says the same thing, i'm not going to start negotiating before an election. i'll get into the room, we'll negotiate these issues later, which is what romney says. >> but he has produced budgets. he is the president of the united states. and he's had to produce a real budget. this is the advantage a challenger has. he can be vague. but the message from the romney people is, we're going to be specific. that's great. people want specifics. it's important.
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you cannot get away with saying, i'm going to cut taxes, $5 trillion over ten years, mostly for higher income americans but i won't tell you who's going to pay for it because the tax policy center, a bunch of nonpartisan nerds look at this and said, if you make $3 million a year, it's $250,000 tax cut. but if you're middle class, it's going to be a $2,000 tax hike. that's romney's problem. >> we're going to continue this conversation because there's a lot more to talk about. hold your thought for a moment. president obama and governor romney will go head to head in a debate just over a week from now. the obama campaign is trying to lower expectations. romney has a more complicated problem. [ woman ] it's 32 minutes to go time,
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and the candidate's speech is in pieces all over the district. the writer's desktop and the coordinator's phone are working on a joke with local color. the secure cloud just received a revised intro from the strategist's tablet. and while i make my way into the venue, the candidate will be rehearsing off of his phone. [ candidate ] and thanks to every young face i see out there. [ woman ] his phone is one of his biggest supporters. [ female announcer ] with cisco at the center... working together has never worked so well.
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we're back with paul begala and alex castellanos. our strategy session continues. the debate, the first presidential debate, october 3rd. a little bit more than a week from now in denver. and both sides are sort of playing with the expectations game. first listen to mitt romney talk about the debate and robert gibbs, the former white house press secretary, now an obama campaign adviser. listen to these two clips. >> he's trying to fool people into thinking that i think things i don't. and that ends, i think, at the debates. i can't tell you winning and losing -- he's president of the united states. he's a very effective speaker. i hope i'll be able to describe
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my positions in a way that is accurate and the people will make a choice as to which path they want to choose. >> mitt romney, i think, has an advantage because he's been through 20 of these debates in the primaries over the last year. he even bragged that he was declared the winner in 16 of those debates. so i think in that sense, having been through this much more recently than president obama, i think he starts with an advantage. >> alex, do you agree with robert gibbs? >> both camps are right and they both start with an advantage. that's what they'd like you to believe. and, of course, romney has been tested in the arena recently. but when you're the president of the united states, you go into any battle as the heavyweight as the incumbent, as a heavyweight champ. that's what obama is. >> seriously, paul -- >> you can take on world leaders, you can take on mitt romney. >> tomorrow he's going to stand at a podium that nobody but the
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president can stand on as an american, at the u.n. general assembly. when he stands on that podium as president and mitt romney stands next to him, that elevates the challenger. it is true. but the president could be a little rusty. this is one criticism i have of his communications shop. sorry to do it on tv. but when is the last time he was in "the situation room"? i understand he can't set up debates. t i do wish he had been sparring a little bit more. journalists like you, let alex interview him. toughen him up a little bit. put him in tough interview situations. i thought he was great on "60 minutes" yesterday. that was a very good, hard, solid, factual, interview-based interview. >> the whole notion of the presidential debates going back to 1960 with nixon/kennedy debates, usually, correct me if i'm wrong, only if somebody makes a major blunder does that wind up having an impact. if they're both just adequate,
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it's not really going to change a lot of votes. >> that's the history of debates. very few candidates win them. a lot of candidates have lost them. the moment that reveals weakness, voters look at you and go, oh, that's not the guy i want. i was in richmond, virginia, when george bush, president number 41, looked at his watch, we were filming it and we had an audience full of people who were watching this. and the minute he looked at his watch, the temperature in that room just went to the floor and collapsed. everybody says, well, he's done the best that he can. he did a nice job. >> and you remember when al gore was walking around in that debate in 2000. >> he was. and we all covered whether he sighed too much. sometimes it gets into criticism. sometimes they make factual errors. president ford said the polls were not dominated by the soviet union. but he almost tied jimmy carter anyway. he came back after that. ronald reagan had one of the
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worst debate performances ever. in the first debate against walter mondale, his mind drifted on him and he carried 49 states. >> i don't know how they're preparing but we're going to continue talking about this in the days to come. i assume they're doing a 90-minute dress rehearsal, not just doing ten minutes here, ten minutes there because these guys -- it's like a football game. you have to practice, practice, practice. >> i played bush for gore in 2000 in those debate preps. we did some th were just segments. you had to hone in on your position. but the 90-minute ones, when it's a full rehearsal, it wears you out physically. >> but there's a reticence on the candidates' parts to do that because they don't want to leave it on the practice field. they want to do it little bit by little bit. >> guys, thank you. some united states marines
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are now speaking out about a taliban attack that not only claimed two u.s. lives, it also destroyed more aircraft. fighter aircraft, than any single attack since the vietnam war. stand by. imagine living your life with less chronic low back pain. imagine you, with less pain. cymbalta can help. cymbalta is fda-approved to manage chronic musculoskeletal pain. one non-narcotic pill a day, every day, can help reduce this pain. tell your doctor right away if your mood worsens, you have unusual changes in mood or behavior or thoughts of suicide. antidepressants can increase these in children, teens, and young adults. cymbalta is not approved for children under 18. people taking maois or thioridazine or with uncontrolled glaucoma should not take cymbalta. taking it with nsaid pain relievers, aspirin, or blood thinners may increase bleeding risk. severe liver problems, some fatal, were reported. signs include abdominal pain and yellowing skin or eyes. tell your doctor about all your medicines, including those for migraine and while on cymbalta, call right away if you have high fever, confusion and stiff muscles
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or serious allergic skin reactions like blisters, peeling rash, hives, or mouth sores to address possible life-threatening conditions. talk about your alcohol use, liver disease and before you reduce or stop cymbalta. dizziness or fainting may occur upon standing. ask your doctor about cymbalta. imagine you with less pain. cymbalta can help. go to cymbalta.com to learn about a free trial offer. wthe future of our medicare andr electiosocial security. for... man 1: i want facts. straight talk. tell me your plan... and what it means for me. woman 2: i'm tired of the negative ads and political spin. that won't help me decide. man 2: i earned my medicare and social security. and i deserve some answers. anncr: where do the candidates stand on issues that... affect seniors today and in the future? find out with the aarp voters' guide at earnedasay.org
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is chick-fil-a really changing its stance when it comes to gay marriage? its president suggests it's not. lisa sylvester is monitoring that and some of the other top stories in "the situation room." what's the latest on this one? >> a chicago alderman wants
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clarification from chick-fil-a. he says the company's president is publicly denying that chick-fil-a has stopped donating to anti-gay marriage groups. last week, an alderman said chick-fil-a halted after months of investigations. the comments are called disturbing and contradictory and says it has muddied the progress that was made. if you feel like your bank fees just keep going up, you are right. the financial research firm bankrate.com says banks are hiking atm fees to record levels. at the same time, banks also are cutting back on free checking accounts in response to increased regulations restricting debit card fees and overdraft fees. take a look at this. it is a waterspout in lake michigan. stunning images. tough take a look at these year. in case you were wondering, a waterspout is a tornado over water. it occurs most frequently in
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michigan in the late summer and early fall months when the great lakes are at their warmest. amazing stuff. last week, we saw that fire spot in australia. now we see this waterspout, pretty amazing video. >> imagine if you're in a boat and you see something like that. >> i would not want to see that coming my way. >> mother nature at work. thank you. thanks very much. u.s. marines are speak out now about that taliban attack that claimed u.s. lives, destroyed u.s. aircraft. stand by. we have a firsthand account. i had pain in my pelvic area... and bleeding that wasn't normal for me. she said i had to go to the doctor. turned out i had uterine cancer, a type of gynecologic cancer. i received treatment and we're confident i'll be fine. please listen to your body. if something doesn't feel right for two weeks or longer, see your doctor. get the inside knowledge about gynecologic cancers. knowing can make all the difference in the world.
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romney: "it's time to stand up to the cheaters" vo: tough on china? not mitt romney. when a flood of chinese tires threatened a thousand american jobs... it was president obama who stood up to china and protected american workers. mitt romney attacked obama's decision... said standing up to china was "bad for the nation and our workers." how can mitt romney take on the cheaters... when he's taking their side? [ "the odd couple" theme playing ] humans. even when we cross our "t"s and dot our "i"s, we still run into problems -- mainly other humans. at liberty mutual insurance, we understand. that's why our auto policies come with accident forgiveness if you qualify, where your rates won't go up due to your first accident, and new car replacement, where if you total your new car, we give you the money for a new one.
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we're learning firsthand details about how u.s. marines fought off an attack that damaged or destroyed more aircraft than any single
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incident in decades. and it happened this month at camp bastion in afghanistan. cnn's pentagon correspondent, barbara starr, reports. >> we see flaming aircrafts. we see the enemy shooting at us. we're seeking cover. we're hearing small arms fire, ak-47s, and at some point soon thereafter see another rpg shot towards us and towards our building. >> reporter: for the first time on television, u.s. marines tell cnn just how bad it got on the night of september 14th here at camp bastion in southern afghanistan when the taliban got inside the base. major greer and his squadron captain raced to the scene as the first rounds hit. >> he performed heroically that night. he came out of the door, saw the enemy, engaged the enemy.
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>> reporter: these taliban videos which nato believes show the insurgents getting ready weeks before the attack may be a clue to how 15 heavily armed taliban fighters dressed in u.s.-style military uniforms infiltrated through the fence on the eastern edge of the airfield. when it all happened, the taliban broke into three groups. one group headed right for the fight line. six jets were destroyed. more than $200 million in damage. some marines say it is the largest loss of aircraft since the vietnam war. >> we're hearing ammunition began to cook off as well as their rounds that they're firing at us. we're hearing the sounds of fire as the gas is released from the aircraft. so it was a sural scene to behold. >> reporter: a staff sergeant led another team into the
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firefight. >> it's definitely like the movies. the fire was huge. you can feel the heat hitting your face. you can smell it. you can hear all the snapping and cracking and all around the walls, all around you. >> reporter: for sergeant bradley atwell and christopher rabel, it would be their final mission. both men died after their wounds. lieutenant colonel rabeel remembered by his marines. >> he took decisive action. he led his marines and led them from the front. >> reporter: lieutenant colonel rabel went up against the taliban with the only weapon he had that night, his 9 millimeter pistol at his side. a full investigation remains ongoing as to how the taliban got inside camp bastion in the first place. >> they have to figure that out. barbara, good report. thanks very much. very disturbing information.
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other disturbing information coming into the "the situation room". the u.s. consulate that was attacked in benghazi, libya, has a waiver for less security than required. what happened? we'll let you know when we come back. there's a health company that can help you stay that way. what's healthier than that? in that time there've been some good days.
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he lost it at a performance when his band was giving what he thought was an early wrap signal. take a look at this. >> you have to be [ bleep ] joking. this has to be a [ bleep ] joke. i have one minute left. now i've got nothing left. let me show you what one [ bleep ] minute means. one minute. >> as you can hear, the crowd actually loved this. i'm not sure they really knew what was going on here. but at the same time, so did the official twitter account from the concert, which tweeted, the band, quote, ends their set in a monumental way. but with green day now announcing on its website that armstrong is getting treatment for substance abuse, doesn't seem like it's something to get so excited about now. at least one report says that green day's set was delayed by
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usher's performance which ran over. but green day is officially apologizing for what happened saying, quote, we would like everyone to know that our set was not cut short by clear channel and to apologize to those we offended at the iheartradio festival in las vegas. they said it wasn't anything about anyone running over and we apologize for that. >> they have a new album coming out. what's it mean for the band going forward? >> reporter: there's still the same plan, the plan for the new album called "uno." it releases tomorrow. also the band still apparently has the same plans to release two more albums between now and january. what has been canceled is upcoming promotional appearances. they are supposed to kick off a tour in late november. but right now, they probably don't know themselves how that's going to be impacted. they're a punk band. as long as he can get treatment
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and come back to the stage, it probably won't have much of an impact on the fans. one last thing, billy joe armstrong is still going to be appearing on nbc's "the voice" in some upcoming episodes. he was tapped as a celebrity mentor on the show. he already taped those episodes over the summer. that's going on as planned, too. >> nischelle, thanks very much for that. let's go to jack with "the cafferty file." >> you don't expect that they might have planned for all this publicity one day before the new album comes out, do you, wolf? >> never know. >> one never knows. the question this hour, how is romney-obama like reagan-carter in 1980? lou says, not anything at all. romney is no reagan, whether you agreed with reagan or not when he took a stand, he stuck to it. romney has been all over the place on every issue. people compare obama to carter because they say he is weak on foreign policy. but those comparisons don't hold water. how can you compare a rescue mission that failed to a secret hit mission that succeeded? patrick writes, the parallels
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between this election and 1980 are uncanny. we have a bad economy with high unemployment just like 1980. our respect around the world has diminished greatly in particular in the middle east. we have a president who preaches the redistribution of wealth. former president carter agreed with that same type of system. romney, like reagan, is preaching more self-reliance and less dependence on government. grant says, this election is nothing like reagan-carter. during that election, we had the problems of the oil embargo compounded with the iran hostage crisis. reagan was well-liked no. one likes romney, not even his republican backers. georgia in pennsylvania, no similarity whatsoever. romney-obama is like paying big money for a broadway show and finding out the understudies are going to perform instead. bennie in connecticut, carter and obama are so similar, we have a miserable depression, a totally failed foreign policy, a lack of leadership and a failed
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presidency of someone so incompetent you can't believe he ever got elected in the first place. romney will be the reagan of 2012 and win inspift all the phony polls put out by the corrupt media. and dan writes, it's not. comparing mitt romney to president reagan is like comparing junior samples of hee haw to stephen hawkings. to see more, go to our blog. >> jack, thank you. you're in "the situation room." happening now, a united states ambassador killed inside an american consulate. was he left vulnerable to attack? and a one-word job description, death. we spend a chilling day in the life of a syrian army sniper. we're learning new detail ts about the heartbreaking loss of a baby panda right here at washington's national zoo. we want to welcome our viewers in the united states and around the world. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room."
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just in to "the situation room," new questions about security and the attack on the u.s. consulate in benghazi, libya, which killed four americans, including ambassador chris stevens. we're now learning the villa of the building that was burned in the hours-long assault did not need standard u.s. security requirements for a united states consulate. cnn's intelligence correspondent suzanne kelly has been working the story for us. what are you picking up? >> we are learning that that mission in benghazi was operating under a security waiver at the time. and that basically means the typical security standards that would have been required at other diplomatic missions did not apply in this particular volatile area. mainly because the villa which was being used to carry out the u.s. mission there was temporary in nature. according to diplomatic security experts, that decision to allow the mission to operate under a
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waiver would have been made in consultation with someone in washington along with their libyan counterpart and of course the ambassador himself. take a listen. >> someone made the decision that the mission in benghazi was so critical that they waived the standard security requirements which psents unique challenges to the diplomatic security service, as you can imagine. >> if you think about those unique challenges from a security perspective, a typical security standard would include things like barriers surrounding the facility, a safe room and there would have been multiple layers of armed security. >> what kind of security did it have? >> we know that there were three armed americans who were assigned to that embassy full time to protect that location, as well as two americans traveling with ambassador stevens. there were also four libyans armed who were assigned to protecting that facility full-time. it can take years for a u.s. embassy to meet the pretty
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stringent stewastri stringent security standards. >> the embassy is in tripoli, this was the consulate in benghazi. >> not if it's a temporary location. another point of this is looking at the time line of this attack and what had happened. we've been working very hard over the past couple of weeks to put that together. i spoke a little bit earlier with an american who is in benghazi. he spoke directly to ambassador stevens. by his account, it would have been about 45 minutes before this attack took place. interesting clues here. he said the ambassador sounded upbeat and calm, was very enthusiastic about the next day's meeting. about 20 minutes after that, the source spoke with a security officer and that's when he realized something was going on. the officer told him, we have a real problem here. hung up to go and deal with it. it was about 20 minutes after that he says when he started hearing rpg fire from about a mile and a half away from that u.s. mission location where we
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now know the ambassador died. >> sad story indeed. our thanks very much, suzanne kelly, for that. let's dig deeper with our national security contributor, fran townsend. last month fran visited libya with her employer, mcandrews and forbes. fran, what do you make about this waiver for less security at this consulate in benghazi? is this a common practice? does this change something in the overall libya investigation? >> wolf, i don't think it really changes anything. certainly as part of the investigation now, we'll want to understand who made the recommendation. it would have gone -- the regional security officer would have been involved in what were the mitigation measures. if it couldn't meet the full standards, what were the rir requirements and how would they be met? the ambassador would have had to sign off on that waiver that went to washington. i think this turns out to be just part of what will be this ongoing investigation.
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>> you saw, i assume, "the new york times'" front page story today that u.s. intelligence in benghazi suffered a huge blow because immediately after the death of the ambassador and the three other americans, basically u.s. intelligence operatives pulled out of that area, "the new york times" quoting one u.s. intelligence official as saying, we got our eyes poked out. here's the question -- how concerning is this that u.s. intelligence may be blind in benghazi right now? >> wolf, there's many places, many dangerous places around the world that u.s. intelligence can't be present and works with the local service. here's the particular problem in libya. of course, with the new government being established, the security service, the intelligence services there are themselves trying to stand up. i think it's sort of a double hit. not only do you not have u.s. intelligence officials still in benghazi. but you've got an intelligence service in this new government -- you don't really have a fully productive partner.
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those two things together do make it very challenging. but we have to be clear. there will continue to be network of informants, surveillance, whether it's technical signals intelligence. they will continue to collect against the intelligence requirements. they just have -- they're going to be certainly more challenged. >> fran, i have more questions but i want to get to this right now. a war between israel and iran, is it imminent? cnn's piers morgan put that question directly to one man who could determine whether current tension over iran's nuclear program escalates into something far more serious and deadly. listen to this part of piers' interview with the iranian president, mahmoud ahmadinejad. >> if israel does launch a strike against your country, what will your response be? >> translator: the response of iran is quite clear. i don't even need to explain that.
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any nation has the right to defend herself. but my question is this -- why should the world be managed in such a way that an individual can allow himself to threaten a rich and deeply rooted historical ancient country such as iran, a great country such as iran, based on an excuse of his own fabrication? so anyone can do this. another country can say, i am guessing that country b is doing activity x. therefore, i will attack that country. is it a successful formula for the management of the war? >> do you fear that war i immine imminent? do you fear there will be
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conflict between your country and israel before the end of the year? >> the zionists seek to fabricate things. i think they see themselves at the end of the line. and i do firmly believe that they seek to create any opportunities for themselves and their adventurous behaviors. >> piers is joining us now with more. piers, i'm curious. what did you think of ahmadinejad? >> well, you and i attended an event with him a few months ago. and he's a very combative, unpredictable and at times very fascinating character. he's been a leader in iran now for a considerable amount of time. this is his last year in office. i get a sense that he's aware of his legacy. the nature of the interview, it lasted an hour. it's a real roller coaster. at times, it's very heated, especially over gay rights and over his refusal to accept the holocaust. at other times, he makes perfect
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rational sense when he talks in a more broad-bush stroke way about the middle east and about afghanistan and iraq and america's response to 9/11. you think you're dealing with a perfectly rational world leader espousing a view shared by many other leaders in that region. but there are moments of real agitation, particularly when you get to israel. and there's no doubt that he believes, as he said, that israel has reached what he perceives to be the end of their line. and he's calling their bluff. he's saying, look, they say i am enriching uranium to produce a nuclear bomb. and i'm not. now, he's calling their bluff. he's saying, if they do air strikes against me, i will hit back because what they are saying i'm doing with this uranium is not true. >> you'll remember a few years ago, columbia university said there were no gay people in iran. you raised that whole issue about gays in iran with him. what did he say about that? what did he say about the holocaust?
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in the past, he's denied 6 million jews were killed during the holocaust? >> i repeatedly asked him the same question -- do you believe, mr. president, that more than 6 million jews were annihilated by adolf hitler and the nazis? he tries to filibuster and won't give me a clear-cut answer. he says we need more research into the holocaust. i think that's a telling exchange. also i thought what was fascinating was the exchange over his now very notorious comments that he wants to wipe israel off the face of the map. when i pressed him on that to clarify what he meant -- he disputed it was interpreted the wrong way. he said he wants the occupation as he sees it of palestinian territory by israel, he wants that wiped off the map. in other words, to remove what he sees as palestinian land that is occupied by israelis. that's a different position from what he said before. lots of fascinating stuff.
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on the issue of gay rights, he's incredibly bigoted to a westerner, certainly. but asking him about whether he would feel comfortable if one of his children date add jew, he surprised me. he said he would be perfectly okay with that. he's an unpredictable character, as you know from your dealings with him. i think people should watch tonight and make their own minds up about him. >> one quick clarification. when he said palestinian occupation in the past, he said all of israel was part of the palestinian occupation, not only the west bank or gaza but the pre-'67 israel as well. all of that should be palestinian. did you get into those specifics? >> not into that nitty-gritty. but it was a world away in terms of the language he used from saying he wanted israel and its entirety wiped off the map. i got the feeling -- you can
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decide when you see it -- that he was slightly reining back from that, it's all got to go. he goes into some detail about it. but he answers in a very laborious way. and when you actually study the anscript, it can often be very illuminating as to what he really says about some of these things. but i found him very combative. it gets pretty heated from time to time, the interview. he's a fascinating, complex character. and i always believe that he's kind of talking to two audiences -- one, the west and the media here who have a view about him which is predominantly negative. and secondly, the iranian public where he's in the last year of his tenure and he's not the most popular president right now in his own back yard. i think a lot of what he tells me is aimed directly the people back home. so it's a fascinating hour. >> i'm looking forward to it later tonight. piers, thanks very much. i want all of our viewers to
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know the interview -- the piers morgan interview with president ahmadinejad will air later tonight, "piers morgan tonight," 9:00 p.m. eastern only here on cnn. a strong response from the white house to ahmadinejad's defiant remarks, among other things, a spokesman saying, president ahmadinejad's comments are characteristically disgusting, offensive and outrageous and underscore again why america's commitment to the security of israel must be unshakable and why the world must hold iron accountable for its utter failure to meet its obligations. that statement from the national security council spokesman tommy vietor. let's bring fran townsend now. how much power within iran does he still have right now? there's been some dispute about whether he really is powerful or just a mouthpiece. what's your assessment, fran? >> as you watch him and during his period in office, his power has really waned. the people believe in the
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foreign policy and intelligence communities that a decision, for example, on the nuclear program would have to come from the supreme leader, the ayatollah. ahmadinejad can bluster all he wants and he is indeed characteristically offensive. but he's not clear that he really has the power to make these decisions. in that clip that we played of the piers interview, he kept saying that the israelis were fabricating. the answer is this is just the iaea. the people who have looked at the nuclear issue and made the allegation that they've continued not to meet their obligations and enrich is the iaea. he doesn't seem willing to take them on. this is a much bigger geopolitical issue than simply israel. >> fran townsend, thanks very much. it's a must-win state for both candidates. now president obama's launching a new offensive against mitt romney in ohio. we have details of his strategy. . progresso. i just finished a bowl of your new light chicken pot pie soup
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presidential elections aren't what they once were. jack cafferty is following that story in "the cafferty file." >> wolf, election day is six weeks from tomorrow. but tens of millions of americans will actually have already cast their ballots long before november the 6th. early voting is already starting. by the end of the month, voters in 30 states will be able to cast absentee ballots or vote early in person, including voters in key swing states. it's expected more than one-third of voters, that's more than 40 million americans, will vote early this year, according to politico. in 2008, early and absentee voters made up more than half of all voters in some states. in colorado, 79% of the people voted early. that's not lost on the candidates. in a tight race, early votes could make the difference in who
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wins the white house. both the obama and romney campaigns are working to get their people out to vote early. it's something the president's campaign did very well in 2008. early voting also has changed the way the candidates and their campaigns approach the elections and us. for starters, it's not worth saving up all those precious advertising dollars until the last days and weeks of the campaign if one in three votes has already been cast by then. and it increases pressure on the candidates since any gaffe or mistake or controversy that happens now could be the last thing the early voters remember before they go into the booth to cast their ballot. and with modern technology and with all the problems that can happen on election day at the polls, we've seen that over and over again, i seems a fair question to ask why we even have an election day where people have to actually go to the polls to vote. seems there ought to be a better way. that's the question. how would you change the way we hold our elections? go to cnn dom sl.com/caffertyfi
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post a comment on my blog. or going to "the situation room's" facebook page. >> thank you, jack. the current campaign has become a battle to see which candidate can seize on the other's remarks fastest and run with them. mitt romney's 47% comment fell right into the president obama's hand and president obama may have just returned the favor to a certain degree for romney. our white house correspondent brianna keilar is following this verbal warfare for us. brianna, what's going on here? >> reporter: wolf, last night, president obama and mitt romney were both on "60 minutes" on cbs. and mitt romney is now seizing on some comments that president obama made, saying that he is trivializing the deaths of four americans in libya and the white house is firing back. president obama left the white house monday and touched down in new york city for the u.n. general assembly. his appearance on "60 minutes" the night before grabbing headlines. >> well, i said even at the time that this is going to be a rocky path. >> reporter: cbs news's steve
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croft asked president obama about the recent turmoil in the middle east. >> there are going to be bumps in the road because in a lot of these places, the one organizing principle has been islam. >> reporter: conservatives including mitt romney are calling the comment insensitive. >> these are not bumps in the road. these are human lives. these are developments we do not want to see. >> reporter: white house press secretary jay carney bristled calling the criticisms -- >> there's a certain, rather desperate attempt to grasp at words and phrases here to find political advantage. and in this case, that's profoundly offensive. >> reporter: in the interview, president obama downplayed pressure from israel to take a harder line against iran as it makes progress on its alleged nuclear weapons program. >> any pressure that i feel is simply to do what's right for the american people. and i'm going to block out any noise that's out there. >> reporter: conservatives called it a dig at one of america's closest allies.
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>> there's obviously a lot of noise around this issue at times. his point was clearly that his objective is to take every step possible to enhance israel's security. >> reporter: this is what the obama campaign wants americans focused on. mitt romney's own words caught on hidden camera at a fund-raiser and recently revealed. they appear in an obama ad airing in the key battleground state of ohio for the first time. >> mitt romney attacked 47% of americans who pay no income tax, including veterans, elderly, the disabled. >> my job is not to worry about those people. >> doesn't the president have to worry about everyone? >> reporter: and it is a big campaign week in ohio. paul ryan campaigning there. mitt romney and the president will be campaigning in ohio this week. and a new cnn poll, polls show president obama ahead of mitt romney by five points in this key battleground state. wolf?
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>> brianna, thanks very much. new presidential campaign ads are circulating. the candidates each slamming the other for being weak on china. we're going to check the facts of the accusations. stay with us. you're in "the situation room." forz(power!) andiamo! andiamo! (let's go! let's go!) avanti! avanti! (keep going! keep going!) hahaha...hahahaha! you know ronny, folks who save hundreds of dollars by switching to geico sure are happy. and how happy are they jimmy? happier than christopher columbus with speedboats. that's happy! get happy. get geico. fifteen minutes could save you fifteen percent or more. but proven technologies allow natural gas producers to supply affordable, cleaner energy, while protecting our environment. across america, these technologies protect air - by monitoring air quality and reducing emissions... ...protect water - through conservation and self-contained recycling systems... ... and protect land - by reducing our footprint and respecting wildlife.
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the mission to find missing avalanche victims in nepal is over, at least for now. lisa sylvester's monitoring that and some of the other top stories in "the situation room" right now. what happened? >> very sad. rescuers in nepal have suspended their search for three mountaineers still missing after an avalanche yesterday morning. officials think the three climbers may be dead. eight climbers are confirmed killed by the giant wall of ice and snow and 12 others were
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injured. a republic airlines flight attendant has been cited for having a handgun in her carry-on at the philadelphia international airport. tsa screeners saw the weapon when she passed through security. a police officer tried to unload the gun and fired a shot into the wall. fortunately no one was hurt. the attendant who is licensed for that gun says she forgot it was in her bag. and a banner day for google. shares have closed at an all-time high. $749.38. and that tops google's previous record set back in november of 2007. at one point the share price inched over $750 but it settled back, still record close. google's domination with its android platform are credited for its stock market surge. very good news if you happen to own google stock. >> a lot of people made money on that stock. almost two weeks after the deadly attack on america's
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consulate in libya, more violence erupts in the same city. this time you might be surprised at who's targeted. plus, rare access to the syrian army sniper as we're taking you to the front lines. ♪ [ male announcer ] introducing a reason to look twice. the entirely new lexus es and the first-ever es hybrid. this is the pursuit of perfection.
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seeing my doctor probably saved my life. warning signs are not the same for everyone. if you think something's wrong... see your doctor. ask about gynecologic cancer. and get the inside knowledge. libya's revolution may have ousted moammar gadhafi but the
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power vacuum left behind have been partially filled by heavily armed militias. now they're the target of a new uprising. here's cnn's correspondent arwa damon. >> reporter: tragically, the violent assault on the u.s. consulate in benghazi may have been the sort of catalyst needed to galvanize change. blamed on extremists in a country awash with weapons and no real rule of law. for the majority of residents in this city, the birthplace of the libyan revolution, it was the final straw. thousands took to the streets on friday demanding an end to armed militias. this is not the new libya they sacrificed for. that same night, hundreds marched on the headquarters of the islamist militia group, forcing the militia that so many here loathed and feared to retreat into the shadows.
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it was an atmosphere of jubilation and euphoria. but what happened next would underscore just one of libya's many complexities. the crowd targeted a second location. it would turn out to be a headquarters, a militia backed by the government, part of the february 17th brigade, one of the most powerful revolutionary units. left exposed after the battalion withdrew to prevent more bloodshed, the weapons it was tasked at protecting. this is what was so critical to keep off the streets of baen benghazi. this is the weapons storage facility. there is just about everything. here we have anti-aircraft machine gun rounds. there's all sorts of rockets, artillery. this is a 130 millimeter rock round. the army commander here is telling us when he and his men arrived on site, looters were already going through this facility. they'd made off with most of the
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light weapons, things like rocket propelled grenades. but this is what the army has been sent to secure. >> and arwa is joining us now from benghazi in libya where it's still a very dangerous place. arwa, what steps has the libyan government taken to deal with these issues? >> reporter: well, over the weekend, wolf, they announced the formation of a joint security operations room. that is pretty much where the units just end in benghazi. and it's supposed to encompass the various army police units, as well as the revolutionary brigades, leaving out any of these militia groups it deems to be illegal, thereby allowing it to go after them. when it comes to tripoli and the surrounding areas, they've announce add 48-hour deadline for all of these militias that are deemed to be illegal to evacuate their various bases. but at this point in time, this is still very much a band-aid solution. the real issue is going to be
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fully dismantling these militias and setting up a true national army and police force. >> that will take time. arwa, thanks very much. from libya to syria, where rebellion wears on and an opposition group says at least 67 more people were killed today in the violence. at the center of the conflict is the city of homs and death there can come silently and unseen. reporter bill neely followed syrian army snipers as they did their deadly work. >> reporter: he is ready to kill. a syrian army sniper aims through a crack in the wall. this is the hidden front line, from their firing point, they target rebel positions just 50 yards away. every day, men die here. this is homs, the heart of the war, and here it is stalemate. the streets here are so deadly,
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we move through holes in walls in houses, up to near darkness and another sniper. he waits in total silence. it's never quiet for long. these syrian troops are trying to take back whole districts the rebels have held for months. they are edgy. the rebels killed five of their men just hours earlier. so in homs, they run for their lives and we do, too. they've been doing it for longer than they ever expected. why is the war lasting so long? >> it will be continued months, today, one year. we don't know. we don't know. i'm ready to die. and all of these m are ready to die for syria. >> reporter: 1 1/2 years after it began and the battle for this city and for syria grinds on relentlessly.
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the bombardment of homs, the war here, is as intense as ever. these soldiers say they have the rebels trapped in this area and that the battle will be over soon. whole neighborhoods here are a wasteland. the signs of battle on every building. few civilians remain. it's almost a shock to see them. in your heart when you see your area like this -- >> well, i have no heart at all. can't imagine this. i feel very sorry for what has happened. >> reporter: how long will this go on for here? >> i don't know. god alone knows. god alone knows. >> reporter: the war here is almost -- few places here are
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safe for anyone. so as world leaders at the united nations begin to talk again of syria, deadlocked in disagreement, the snipers on both sides take their positions. death on their minds, victory in their sights. bill neely, itv news, homs. >> he was referring to the united nations general assembly which gets under way tomorrow in new york. president obama is scheduled to address the general assembly during the 9:00 a.m. eastern hour. you'll see it live here on cnn. who's tougher on china, mitt romney and president obama are both making very pointed accusations against each other. we're checking the facts. ♪ one, two, three, four ♪ you say ♪ flip it over and replay ♪ we'll make everything okay ♪ walk together the right way ♪ do, do, do, do ♪ [ male announcer ] introducing a stunning work of technology.
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let's get back to politics and the race for the white house. a battle over china is one of the latest skirmishes in this presidential campaign. who's tougher? who's doing more to protect u.s. jobs? some of the subjects of some pointed campaign ads. we asked brian todd to check the facts for us. brian, what are you finding out? >> like so many campaign ads and other claims, we think these are maybe about half true. both campaigns are making claims on how their guy is tougher on china. but dig below the surface and you find that their criteria for those claims is pretty narrow. they're both hitting the trail in ohio this week. that means telling voters what they're doing to fight for the american worker and what the other guy isn't. their battle lines play out in new ads, sparring over who's tougher on china. mitt romney's latest commercial accuses the president of not standing up to china when he had the chance to formally label the chinese currency manipulators. >> seven times obama could have taken action.
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seven times he said no. >> reporter: is that true? >> technically, yes. >> reporter: but with a caveat says this analyst on china for the peterson institute, a nonpartisan think tank. he says the administration does have a chance twice a year to tell congress if any country has manipulated its currency. china has often been accused of keeping the value of its currency artificially low in order to boost its exports. but if the white house does tell congress that a country is manipulating its currency, that would trigger formal negotiations with that country which could prompt congress to take action to punish the offender. the last time an administration cited china as a manipulator was in 1994. and what results did those talks produce? >> they didn't really produce very much. but i'm not really very surprised by that because at that time china did have a big global trade surplus. >> reporter: the obama administration has avoided formally labieling china as a currency manipulator. >> i would say they've done two
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things. they've had a concerted effort at the top of our government and the chinese government to have intensive discussions on the economic issues and the so-called strategic and economic dialogue. a number of case have been brought to the w.t.o. where we believe china has not been living up to its international obligations. these have been intellectual property, auto parts is the most recent. >> reporter: that brings us to the latest obama ad on china. >> when a flood of chinese tires threatened 1,000 american jobs, it was president obama who stood up to china and protected american workers. >> reporter: that refers to the administration imposing stiff tariffs on chinese-made tires back in 2009. tire manufacturing jobs in the u.s. did increase by more than 1,000 over the next two years and the imports of chinese tires did drop. but there's a caveat for that, too. >> turns out that our imports from other country, some in asia, some in eastern europe, went up. >> we also spoke to the tire
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industry association, that's the main lobbying group for the american tire manufacturers. they say that because those imports from places like thailand and indonesia, took up the slack for the chinese tires that were not coming in, those tariffs imposed by the obama white house didn't work directly to save american jobs. >> the tariffs might have hurt other people in this country as well, right? >> right. one man says it hurt people working in small businesses, businesses geared only to bringing tires in from china. tough look at the ads closely and dig because about half of each one may be true. you always have to put context in there. >> very important. going to be a flood of these ads. thanks very much. tremendous excitement followed by heartbreak. we're learning new details about how that baby panda died at washington's national zoo. credi! how does this thing work? oh, i like it! [ garth ] sven's small business earns 2% cash back on every purchase, every day! woo-hoo!!!
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presidential races provide rich fodder for sat iirists, especially "saturday night live." nothing is sacred, including the all-important undecided voters. >> before you get our vote, you're going to have to answer some questions. questions like -- >> when is the election? >> what are the names of the two people running? and be specific. >> who is the president right now? is he or she running? because if so, experience is maybe something we should consider. >> for president obama, a little campaign advice as well. >> while addressing a town hall meeting on thursday, president obama said that you can't change
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washington from the inside, you can only change it from the outside. a rare gaffe from the president brings us to our segment, what are you doing? i'm not saying what you said isn't true. i'm saying, why are you saying anything during this romney tailspin? let's review. on monday, a secret tape is released where romney insults half of the country and then that same day he stands by those remarks. on wednesday, he does a town hall for hispanics and brown face and friday paul ryan gets boo'd by the aarp and then instead of enjoying that, you go, hey everybody, remember my campaign slogan? yeah. i can't do that. don't make this hard on yourself. you're like the criminal who gets away murder and then starts sending the cops puzzles to figure it out. >> funny stuff. let's did to jack for the cafferty file. that is cute, isn't it? >> good stuff. you bet. the question this hour is how would you change the way we hold our elecons? dave writes from california, if
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you don't have skin in the game you don't get to vote. if you don't pay taxes you don't get to vote for those who determine who pays the taxes how much they pay or how it the money will be spent. jk says make sure all americans right to vote is protected and stop the obvious state level attempts to disenfranchise voters. paul writes limit the campaign to six weeks, use pencil and paper ballots. works here in canada. ran day says saturday and sunday, the first weekend in november, set them aside for voting. paper ballots with receipts. public financing of election campaigns, limited access to the public air waves at no cost to each candidate. charles says absolutely no campaigning until 90 days before the election. it's lewd you that campaigning beginning the day after election day for the next election. paul in texas writes, get rid of the electoral college, make our elections whoever wins the popular vote wins the election. we may not all like what we get
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but at least a majority will have voted for that person. and brazil, the united states should look to brazil, a country of 200 million people that for over a decade has 100% electronic when it comes to voting. the system is trusted by the people and the politicians and we have had no fraud claims. the winner's known three to six hours after the polls are closed. even the indigenous people in the middle of the rainforest use electronic voting machines. we can't do that here? for more, go to the blog. wolf? >> we can't do it, jack, except we don't because the states, they have their own rules on how to do it. there's no national rule if you will on how to do the elections. that's one of the problems. >> yeah. well, florida can't do it. florida can't do anything coming to -- they should not be allowed to vote. we have had this discussion. florida can remain a state and not allowed because they don't
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know how to do it. >> i like the fact people in brazil watching "the situation room." >> good, right? >> 240 countries and territories around the world. they're watching you, jack, right now. can you believe it? >> wolfman is known everywhere. >> right, jack. don't go too far away. i have a good story, not such a good story but a compelling story, a moving story. keepers at washington's national zoo in mourning right now. their newborn panda died less than a week old and they want to know why. we'll have an update when we come back. one is for a clean, wedomestic energy future that puts us in control. our abundant natural gas is already saving us money, producing cleaner electricity, putting us to work here in america and supporting wind and solar. though all energy development comes with some risk, we're committed to safely and responsibly producing natural gas. it's not a dream. america's natural gas...
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putting us in control of our energy future, now. romney: "it's time to stand up to the cheaters" vo: tough on china? not mitt romney. when a flood of chinese tires threatened a thousand american jobs... it was president obama who stood up to china and protected american workers. mitt romney attacked obama's decision... said standing up to china was "bad for the nation and our workers." how can mitt romney take on the cheaters...
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hot shots. saudi arabia, a young boy waves the national flag for saudi national day. in spain, police watch as a forest fire ravages the countryside. bangladesh, a blockade of water plants. in thailand, hundreds of birds in cages during a bird singing contest. hot shots, pictures from around the world. dlirks delight to disappointment and dismay at the national zoo here in wooshds. keepers and veterinarians are trying to figure out why the baby panda cub born there a week ago died yesterday. cnn sandra endo is joining us from the national zoo. sandy, what did we learn today? >> reporter: well, very sad day, wolf, at the zoo here. all signs showed great mothering and vocalizations of the cub showed it was healthy, too, and that's why zoo keepers are so puzzled and determined to find out why this cub didn't survive.
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sounds of distress from giant panda moth mayshong at the moment she realized there were problems with the newborn cub. >> it wasn't breathing and its heart stopped. >> panda keepers tried to save the life of the week old female cub at washington's national zoo but doctors weren't able to revive the newborn who seemed to be in good health since the birth. >> the cub's body condition seemed excellent. had a big, fat belly. it had good physical signs. it felt good. >> reporter: zookeepers say the mother was good who nursed the baby and at 1,000 times the size careful not to crush the fragile cub. doctors do not know the cause of death but say they found abnormalities in the baby. >> there was fluid in the abdomen and we have a kind of a hard liver and sometimes you see
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an abnormal liver like that and think, oh, it's abnormal but the reality is you have to take sections of the liver and send it out for histology and see if the cells are normal. >> reporter: the birth was a welcomed surprise after five failed pregnancies. the artificial insemination worked but sadly, the vocal cub's life was only short liv. >> it's a roller coaster. it's at once gleeful and then frustrating. >> reporter: a shared sentiment for the public, too. >> we were looking forward to having a permanent member here and we're really sad about it. >> my son's asking a lot of questions on why it passed and so forth so it's a learning lesson today at the zoo. >> reporter: and the future of the panda's breeding program here is still unclear. zookeepers say they'll talk to the chinese who own the giant pandas but today is a time to grieve. wolf? >> sandra endo, thanks very
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much. happening now, mitt romney gets more aggressive in swing states where lost ground could cost him the election. president obama tries to block out romney's attacks on the foreign policy on the eve of big speech to the united nations. and arnold schwarzenegger says he is telling all about the affair and secret child that broke up the marriage to maria shriver. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." a little over a week before their first debate, mitt romney and barack obama are trying to hit each other where it hurts. the obama campaign is out with its first ad attacking romney's now infamous 47% remark and romney just went after the president for an interview that seemed to downplay the bloodshed in the middle east. jim acosta is with the romney campaign on a new tour of battleground states. >> reporter: wolf, with the
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calendar shrinking and the debates fast approaching, mitt romney is barnstorming with states and hoping to make up ground on the subject of foreign policy. it's not debate time yet but mitt romney was looking for one on foreign policy in front of a crowd in colorado where the gop contender laid in to president obama for describing the recent unrest in the middle east as bumps in the road on "60 minutes." >> i was pretty certain and continue to be certain there's going to be bumps in the road because in a lot of these places that one organizing principle has been islam. >> he said the developments in the middle east are bumps in the road. yeah, that was my reaction. bumps in the road? we had an ambassador assassinated. these are not bumps in the road. these are human lives. >> reporter: romney has some catching up to do in campaign battlegrounds across the country. cnn's latest poll of polls shows the president with an edge in
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three critical states. >> find at least one person who voted for barack obama last time. >> reporter: romney urged the supporters in colorado to go to work and phone a friend. >> i want you to find them and talk to them and ask them whether they can't vote in favor of someone to bring real change and strengthen america again. >> reporter: romney and paul ryan hope to close the gap in ohio next with the bus tour across the state. trying to explain why he's trailing romney complained on the campaign plane, the president is not fighting fair. >> trying to fool people in to thinking i think things i don't. >> reporter: the campaign seizing on president obama's admission to "60 minutes" some of the ads failed with fact checkers. >> do we see setimes us going overboard or mistakes made, you know, areas where there's no doubt that somebody could dispute how we are presenting things? you know, that happens in politics.
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>> reporter: but the same fact checkers just as critical of romney's ad. >> they just send you your welfare check and welfare to work goes back to being plain old welfare. >> my job is not to worry about those people. >> reporter: the cam pin's latest ad uses romney's own words from the hidden camera video showing the nominee going off on voters who don't pay federal income taxes. >> doesn't the president have to worry about everyone? >> reporter: after days of second guesses, romney took responsibility for the remarks. >> that's not the campaign. that was me. all right? that's not a campaign. not everything i say is elegant and i want to make it very clear. i want to help 100% of the american people. >> reporter: the obama campaign released a statement accusing romney to seek political attacks and beneath someone seeking the office of commander in chief and the latest example of both campaigns trying to turn winning the news cycle in to winning the election. wolf? >> jim acosta traveling with the
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romney campaign. governor romney's newest attack on president obama's foreign policy just hours before the president addresses the united nations general assembly in new york. critics say president obama has a lot of explaining to do to the world and to voters here at home. chief white house correspondent jessica yellin in new york covering the president's visit. what's the latest? >> reporter: hi, wolf. the eyes of the world on president obama when he addresses the general assembly tomorrow morning but the president will not be staying long. heading in to a big week, president obama was asked if he's under pressure from israel's prime minister to step up his efforts against iran. he told cbs -- >> i am going to block out any noise that's out there. >> reporter: the romney campaign pounced, accusing the president of a chronic disregard for the security of israel. and he's taking heat for this, too. the president arrived in new york a day ahead of the big speech to the united nations.
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and he sat down for a one on one with the ladies of "the view" but not with foreign heads of state. >> he has time for whoopi goldberg but doesn't have time for world leaders? >> chris, they have telephones in the white house. last week he talked to the president of egypt, he talked to the leader in libya. >> reporter: yes, it's foreign policy election season edition. >> unfortunately, in american election cycles, foreign policy becomes not so much an issue of demonstrating wisdom as it is an issue for demonstrating toughness so i think you will see a lot of that from the president in his speech. >> reporter: the president speaks to the u.n. assembly tuesday morning. administration officials say he'll address the issue at the heart of the tension with israeli prime minister, iran's nuclear program. >> i don't think you'll see any daylight in the u.s.-israel alliance but i think the president needs to show that he is not dodd ling on the question of iran.
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he's got a robust diplomacy in mind. he's got a sanctions program. and as he said many times, he's left everything on the table. >> reporter: he will also aggress the violence in the middle east that claimed the lives of four americans. the secretary of state offered a preview. >> extremists around the world are working hard to drive us apart. all of us need to stand together to resist these forces and to support democratic transitions under way in north africa and the middle east. >> reporter: other pressing issues -- u.s. trade with china and -- >> i think he does need to address syria. this is a civil war in syria that has all of the makings of something to me it is aty size in the middle east. >> reporter: the middle east changed a great deal since a speech in cairo in 2009 and declared a new beginning. tomorrow could be a chance for the president to explain how he
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sees the future of the middle east after the arab spring and the u.s.'s role there. wolf? >> jessica yellin, thanks very much for that report. kate baldwin is here with more on what the president and other world leaders up to in new york at the u.n. general assembly. >> very busy and for more on that talking about the secretary of state hillary clinton. hillary clinton's diplomatic skills if you will are being put to the test standing in for the president at the u.n. today and sets the stage for the big speech tomorrow. for more on this one, want to bring in foreign affairs correspondent jill dougherty following secretary of state, hillary clinton. jill, she is keeping quite a schedule. >> reporter: she is. it is one peting after another and not over yet. she has another one at 8:30 tonight with the leader of egypt but it's really been intense and it's not that easy. a day of diplomatic damage control for a secretary of state hillary clinton. >> the people of the arab world
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did not set out to trade the tyranny of a dictator for the tyranny of a mob. there is no dignity in that. >> reporter: in new york, for the u.n. general assembly, clinton met with the leaders of four countries where the u.s. is under attack. in the first high level meeting with libya, since the terrorist attack that killed u.s. ambassador chris stevens and three other americans, the secretary tried to keep the focus positive. as she melt met with the president mohammed mogariaf. >> i want to thank them in person for the important efforts that they're taking to help find and bring to justice all of those responsible for the attacks. >> reporter: then, afghan president hamid karzai, the highest level meeting with the afghan meeting since the brazen attack on nato's camp bastian.
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pakistan, too, was on clinton's schedule. the scene of violent protests over the blasphemous film about the prophet mumd. >> we very much appreciate the strong response of your government. >> reporter: hillary clinton was filling in for president barack obama also here in new york for the u.n. general assembly but in the midst of an election campaign, he's decided to side step the minefield of foreign policy hot spots and not meet individually with other world leaders. clin tony spooking at her husband's clinton global initiative dipped her toe in domestic political waters while talking about international economic development. >> you know, i'm out of american politics but it is a fact that around the world the elites of every country are making money. there are rich people
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everywhere. and yet, they do not contribute to the growth of their own countries. >> reporter: a little hint there. but in any case, back to foreign policy. we did have a briefing by senior u.s. officials this afternoon on pakistan. they said that it's been a rough couple of months but they're going in a good direction. they said they wouldn't want to oversell it. but on libya specifically, in that meeting with president megarof, ready to cooperate with the investigation taking place and he wants the country to rise to the level of confidence and trust that the united states and other countries around the world have given to libya. back to you, kate. >> jill dougherty youds the u.n. for us this evening. thank you. we're very interested to hear what president obama has to say before the general assembly tomorrow. >> 9:00 a.m. eastern time tomorrow morning.
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scheduled to address the general assembly and live coverage by cnn. a new warning today that new voting laws here in the united states may keep millions of latinos from actually casting ballots. this year, is that true or not true? stand by. we're lifelock, and we believe you have the right to live free from the fear of identity theft. our pledge to you? as long as there are identity thieves, we'll be there. we're lifelock. and we offer the most comprehensive identity theft protection ever created. lifelock: relentlessly protecting your identity. call 1-800-lifelock or go to lifelock.com today. [ female announcer ] kristine tweets, "have a yoplait. heaven on your palate." in other heavenly news, all our yoplait light flavors are now 90 calories each. and cue the angels. what? ok. we don't have angels. yoplait. it is so good. wanted to provide better employee benefits
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said standing up to china was "bad for the nation and our workers." how can mitt romney take on the cheaters... when he's taking their side?
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10 billion latino americans may be discourages of casting ballots this year because of new voting laws affecting about half of the nation. it could change the outcome on november 6th if, if it's true. our own joe johns has been looking in to the story for us. >> reporter: wolf, the honest truth about the latest report on latino voting rights is the headline on the story is frankly a little misleading but the issue is real, nonetheless. the congressional black caucus dinner over the weekend first lady obama spent a lot of time talking about a political hot topic getting hotter. minority voting rights. >> we cannot let anyone
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discourage us from casting our ballots. we cannot let anyone make us feel unwelcome in the voting booth. >> reporter: the latest savoy over the latino vote. today advancement project released a study saying voting laws in 23 states could have a huge impact in november. >> there are 10 million latino voters who will be affected by these laws that will have to overcome these new barriers that have been put in place to restrict the vote. >> reporter: there are estimated around 25 million latinos eligible to vote nationwide which according to the advancement project means more than a third could be affected. but the report's conclusion is almost immediately challenged. republican strategist anna that var ro has done outreach for campaigns. >> the numbers included in the report include people like me, a naturalized latino in miami, florida. i can tell you i'm not scared to vote. i know i'm not disenfranchised.
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i know i will be able to vote and if they ask me for a picture i.d., so what? i'm asked when i go and fly. >> reporter: there's no way to know the number of people who might be affected partly because so many voting rights laws are tied up in the courts so it's changed for latino voters this election? proof of citizenship including some states require a photo i.d., also, battleground states like florida and colorado have attempted to purge voter rolls of alleged noncitizens. >> purging people from the rolls because they're suspected noncitizens actually creates a burden on latino voters that other communities will sot knee. >> reporter: opponents see political motivations and say they were in put place to suppress minority voters that tend to support democrats. a recent gallup poll showed overwhelming support of president obama for latinos. >> i think there's a balance drawn here. we all agree only those eligible to vote should be voting and
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that those not eligible to vote should not be voting. the question is, why create such alarm and why create such controversy? >> reporter: a lot of republicans pushing the legal changes through say it's mainly about protecting the integrity of the vote and rooting out fraud. but so far, study after study shown there's scant evidence to support claims of fraud. wolf? >> joe johns repoing, thank you. next month, joe will have an hour-long documentary all about the legal battle over voting rights and the critical battleground state of florida. tune in to "wo counts" airing sunday, october 14th 8:00 p.m. eastern only here on cnn. joe's been working very hard on it and looking forward to seeing it coming up. still ahead for us, though, the may why are of new york on the defensive a bit for giving new york schoolgirls a controversial form of birth control. that's next coming up in "the situation room."
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all right. let's bring back kate. she's got more of the day's top stories. >> a troubling story. i'm sure you'll remember it. two u.s. marine staff sergeants court-martialed for desecrating the bodies of taliban. they posed for pictures while urinating on the bodies. the two also are charged with dereliction of duty, failure to super vise junior marines and failure to report the misconduct. back here in the states, new york city mayor michael bloomberg defending the city school system's pilot program
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dispensing the morning after birth control pill without getting consent from the student's parents. listen here. >> good news is we have brought teenage pregnancy down something like i think 25% over the past 10 years. bad news is there's an awful lot of girls that get pregnant at a very early age. >> in new york city, nearly half of teens have had sexual intercourse and 7 out of 10 pregnant girls drop out. getting a lot of attention. and remember a few years ago when people wore surgical masks afraid of a rare and deadly virus that causes sars? a man of qatar is infected with a previous unknown virus resembling sars. he is in london hospital. a saudi man was treated in june with a similar infection and has since died. ♪ on a very different note and a happier note, munich's
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oktoberfest is under way, the 179th edition of germany's premier beer festival and something new this year. no glass bottles. they're banned to cut down on cuts, scrapes and broken glass, of course. it runs through october 7th. next year we'll take "the situation room" on the road for oktoberfest. >> no election next year in october. good time to go to munich. >> there we go. >> not this year. >> next year. we're very busy. the obama campaign says mitt romney is plit sizing the death of the united states ambassador to libya. [ female announcer ] you want family dinner to be special. dad, we want pizza. you guys said tacos. [ female announcer ] it doesn't always work out that way. you know what?
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send your love to the rescue. donate today. happening now. the romney camp responds to the obama suggestion that romney wants to start another war. the romney camp says president obama sees the middle east tension as a bump in the road. arnold schwarzenegger opens up about the day his wife confronted him about his affair and secret child. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." mitt romney is hammering president obama today accusing him of downplaying deadly violence in the plooets in a televised interview. >> here's a clip of president obama's remarks on "60 minutes" and romney's attack on the campaign trail today.
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>> i was pretty certain and continue to be pretty certain that there are going to be bumps in the road. >> bumps in the road? we had an ambassador assassinated. this is time for the president who will shape events in the middle east, not just be merciful or be at mercy of the events of the middle east. >> the campaign released an angry response to romney saying this. quote, he's purpose lly misinterpreting the president's words and making reckless comments apparently for the sole purpose of his own gain. this should be beneath someone seeking to be the nation's commander in chief's sharp criticism there. >> yeah. let's talk about it with richard williamson. thank you for coming in. you want to respond to the
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serious accusation that governor romney is politicizing some very, very disturbing news of the at least? >> well, there are disturbing news out of the at least, problem is the president's not responding in a bold way which is necessary. he's allowing events to play out. he's saying they're just a bump in the road. the assassination of an ambassador, the first since jimmy carter's administration, is a big deal. the fact that there are demonstrations around 20 embassies, a big deal. the fact in cairo and other embassies there's breech of u.s. property. i think it's president obama to down play it because his policies are failing. >> what do you want the president to do? >> well, first of all, he should stop his stonewalling about what happened in benghazi. for five, six days they said it was spontaneous result of this film. it's clear it came out. it was a planned attack. intelligence chairman rodgers talked about that yesterday.
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even the press secretary at the white house has had to back off. the american people want to know what happened, what did the administration know, when did they know it and why wasn't there adequate protection? that's one thing they have to do and scondly they have to show firmness with the middle east opposed to going around apologizing. >> respond specifically to the charge that the obama campaign makes that he's politicizing, that governor romney is politicizing this very, very sad event that happened in benghazi:. just last night governor romney on the campaign plane criticizing the obama camp of taking the views out of context. isn't he doing the same thing here? >> i knew ambassador chris stevens when i was the president's special envoy to sudan and did some negotiations in tripoli. i had a chance to work with him. he was a great public servant, a decent man. we all have sympathy to his family and friends as for the
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other four. there's a policy issue and i think this is kind of a classic political two-step when you don't want to deal with the substance. either you stonewall, the first approach to mbenbenghazi or try dismiss it saying they're politicizing it. that's an interesting charge of a president who ran principally on the attacks on president bush's foreign policy in 2008. the american people have a right to know that two different visions. one, peace through strength is governor romney's view. a different view is that of president obama's. it's obama and carter have the view of engagement in what appears to us to be inconsistency and weakness. truman through reagan to romney is peace through strength. fundamental differences. the american people should know it. >> where's the president apologizing, mr. williamson? >> well, i think the $70,000 spent on this commercial in pakistan that goes out of its way to condemn this video as opposed to standing up for free
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speech and there should be an understanding that free speech is tolerated and important in the united states. it's a mistake. i think that the embassy -- >> that's not an apology. that's explaining that the u.s. government in the face of these accusations had nothing to do with that ugly, stupid 14-minute trailer. it's just an explanation, a public service announcement, if you will. a commercial that they put out there in pakistan. >> wolf, you're entitled to your interpretation. it looks to me like someone not standing up for free speech and pluralism and explaining to the pakistanis and the muslim world they have their laws. we have our laws and constitution and people can speak out and express their views and we shouldn't try to -- >> yeah, i was going to say i want to move on and sounded like an explanation of free speech opposed to an apology. we don't have to get in to that. go ahead, kate. >> we can agree to disagree.
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>> we can. go ahead. >> we actually want to play you something that paul ryan said today in a town hall in ohio. let's play part of it, he's here talking about the protests in the middle east. listen to this. >> i mean, turn on the tv and it's not -- it reminds you of 1979 teheran but they're burning our flags in capitals all around the world. they're storming our embassies. we've lost four of our diplomats. >> he's referring to the islamic revolution. we have talked about this a lot in kind of bombastic language used on the campaign trail. do you think that you can relate the two events or is paul ryan going too far here? >> i don't think he's going too far. as i said earlier, you have different approaches to u.s. foreign policy and the approach that president truman began after world war ii and carried out through kennedy to reagan and beyond was an approach of peace through strength. america never got in to a war
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because it was too strong and the accommodation and apology invites challenges and that's what's happened. and that's a policy that jimmy carter and barack obama have had and failed. failing in the middle east. we think there should be a discussion about that as opposed to try to divert, deny and run away from a discussion of it. >> but i like you, mr. williamson, i lived through the 444 days during the jimmy carter administration when american diplomats were held hostage in teheran. and that was a brutal, brutal period. you're not suggesting that what we're going through right now is at all equivalent to that, are you? >> well, i'm suggesting there are challenges to u.s. interest. there are those who are vie lntly opposed to the united states and its values. that are challenging us. and, wolf, i also was through it and i served, worked with president reagan on the senior
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staff and i well remember that those hostages were freed 20 minutes after ronald reagan was sworn in as president. >> i remember that very vividly. i'm just saying 444 days of americans held hostage is obviously a brutal, brutal experience, one of the reasons jimmy carter was defeated in that election in 1980. i'm just saying that right now at least based on what i see and what i remember from them it's not similar. paul ryan may have gone a little bit over the top in making that accusation but on this i suspect we'll agree to disagree, as well. >> wolf, you well remember way back in 199 the last time during jimmy carter of an american ambassador assassinated, we had one asass natded in benghazi. this is not a bump in the road. >> right. it's not a bump in the road. i agree with you. that's a bad phrase. i'm sure if the president had a chance, he'd like to take that back. that phrase, you are right. but, you know, we'll see how this unfolds. >> but let me just -- but, wolf,
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let me just say. a president with time for whoopie goldberg and not time for world leaders at the united nations general assembly as has been the practice of presidents for decades is also disappointing and shows a lack of seriousness about u.s. interest in foreign policy. >> we'll discuss that with our next guest, from the obama campaign. stephanie cutter, she's standing by and getting a different obvious perspective from her. rich williamson, as usual, thanks for coming in. >> thanks, wolf. have a good day. >> all right. stephanie cutter is standing by. we'll get her take when we come back. and some difficult ones. but, through it all, we've persevered, supporting some of the biggest ideas in modern history. so why should our anniversary matter to you? because for 200 years, we've been helping ideas move from ambition to achievement. and the next great idea could be yours.
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romney campaign pouncing on the admission sometimes the
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campaign goes too far. >> yeah. it's another dust-up of the duelling interviews they gave two "60 minutes" that aired over the weekend. this particular remark, though, by president obama did not air on tv but cbs news posted it on the website. listen here. >> do we see sometimes us going overboard in our campaign? are there mistake that is are made, you know, areas where there's no doubt that somebody could dispute how we are presenting things? you know, that happens in politics. >> we're joined by the president's deputy campaign manager stephanie cutter. sounds like he was criticizing your own campaign, stephanie, for going too far and sometimes making these kind of accusations. i wonder if you agree with the president. >> i do agree with the president. we take fact checking very, very seriously. we spend a lot of time making sure that the facts up on the air are -- we're able to back them up. and, you know, just think about
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the contrast with the romney campaign. their chief strategist neil newhouse said they weren't going to be beholder by fact checkers. there's a big difference. we take fact checking very seriously. >> stephanie, listen here to this little sound that we have. this is from governor romney talking to reporters last night about some of the ads that have been put out by your campaign and supporting super-pacs. listen to this. >> when he says i was in favor of liquidating the automobile industry, nothing is further from the truth and i'm in favor of lowering taxes on wealthy people, no i'm not. i'm not going to reduce the taxes on the wealthy at all and the ads on abortion, he says i'm opposed to abortion even in cases of rape an incest and the life of the mother. that's wrong. one ad after another of his and statements has been determined to be factually inaccurate. >> you just said that fact -- you take fact checks very
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seriously. do you stand by all of the ads put out by the campaign? >> absolutely, absolutely. i'm happy to walk through them. just because he disagrees with his own record doesn't mean what we're saying isn't true. take the automobile industry, everybody knows that it wouldn't have survived if the government didn't give it a bridge loan and that's what it came down to. it wasn't brut sy but giving it a bridge loan to survive to go in to bankruptcy. mitt romney criticized the federal government for giving that bridge loan, even bain capital wouldn't step up at the time and give the automobile industry a bad loan. the president said i won't let this go under. number two, on lowering taxes for the wealthy, it's his tax plan. he wants to lower the tax rate for everybody and lowering the tax rate for everybody, then you're lowering their taxes. he'll say he'll close deductions
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and close loopholes so that it's revenue neutral but he has yet to name those deductions and loopholes so independent analysts have looked that the and said the only way he could cut taxes by $5 trillion, his tax plan. not ours. only way to cut taxes by $5 trillion is to raise taxes on the middle class because he has to get rid of the number of deductions that it would take to pay for it. >> what do you make of -- >> and on abortion, the problem is he's taken both sides of every issue. >> he does -- his current position is that -- >> exceptions. >> but his current position -- >> current position. >> as he stated it, and i think that's, you know, at least a last position he's had on abortion and does favor the exceptions for rape, incest and the life of the mother. but i want you to react quickly to the latest accusations coming from the romney campaign. paul ryan in particular saying what we're seeing unfold in the
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middle east is reminiscent of 19 n't 79 when americans were held hostage in iran for 444 days. do you want to respond to the romney campaign, the vice presidential nominee? >> i would say a couple of things. i think it's sad this is the romney campaign is spending the last days of the campaign, launching fictional attack after fictional attack. you know, each day that goes by they talk about a reboot. that this is the day they're going to start talking about where mitt romney wants to take the country. this is the day they're going to lay out details of what he's going to do to improve the economy and the american people but they pick a fictional attack and spend a day on it. on this particular one, it reminds me in the now infamous secret videotape of mitt romney behind closed doors with donors he said that he was going to look for an opportunity like the iran hostage crisis and take opportunity of it. you know what? it's that, he's taken a very
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tragic event over in libya that cost, you know, our ambassador his life and he's made it pure politics. i mean, as the president said a few weeks ago, he shot first and he aimed later and he's still doing that and now his vice president is going that. i think we all need to take a step back and understand that america faces threats of the world and approach them responsibly. that's what you will hear from the president tomorrow before the u.n. general assembly. >> you know, the other accusations that you hear them making is that the president has time for whoopie goldberg on "the view" and not to meet with world leaders in new york as he addresses the united nations general assembly. we did research back in 2004 when another incumbent president was running for re-election, george w. bush. he went to the u.n. in september just before the day and met with a whole bunch of world leaders. the indian prime minister, the iraqi prime minister, the japanese prime minister, the
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afghan and pakistani presidents. and i would argue, stephanie, that that was probably politically smart and shows he is the world leader. meeting with world leaders and why didn't the president use this opportunity in new york this week to meet with various leaders who were there and instead of just giving the address and then going ahead and appearing on "the view"? >> well, wolf, i won't get in to the details of his schedule and i'm on the campaign side. but i will say when you're the president of the united states, you're always talking to world leaders. you are always working with world leaders. just in the last couple of weeks, a half dozen of them in talking about the unrest in the middle east and what we're going to do about it and getting the bottom of the attack in the libya. it's a con stabtd conversatistad when the president speaks before the u.n. general assembly he'll come to the speech as a place of credibility, restored our alliances, who has increased,
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you know, the world's view of the united states. who has crippled al qaeda and ended the war in iraq. drawing down the war in afghanistan. and he'll say, you know, he'll talk about the unrest in the muslim world and he'll put when's happening in the middle east in context of a long democratic transition but he'll also make clear to the world watching that the united states is not going to retreat. when americans are harmed, we'll bring that person to justice and we'll bring peace through strength -- i heard your interview before with the person before me and that is what peace through strength is. i think you will hear that from the president tomorrow. >> i'm sure we will. 9:00 a.m. eastern when the president addressing the u.n. general assembly. live coverage of course here on cnn. stephanie cutter, thanks as usual for coming in. >> thank you. the ferm nay or the, the governor, whatever you want to call him. he is master of reinvention. arnold schwarzenegger at it again with an autobiography that
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arnold schwarzenegger has a new biography coming up. casey winen has details. >> at the inauguration of the usc public policy institute bearing his name. he wanted to talk about the institute's plan in a nonpartisan way. >> i learn it had old way of doing things just didn't work, so i broke the rules. >> but more interesting to even the academics in the audience --
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>> professor schwarzenegger has just published a book, he might be ready forpromotions. >> if my life was movie, nobody would believe it. this story, you know. so are you ready for the story? >> maria shriver waited until the day after he left the governor's office to confirm her suspicious that he cheated. the paper says it obtained an advanced copy and arnold wrote the many we sat down, the therapist turned to me and said maria wanted to come here today to ask about a child you fathered with your housekeeper. i told the therapist it's true. >> but she knows you're discussing. >> she knows it's about my whole life and that i would not write
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a book and kind of leave out that part and make people feel like, wait a minute, are we just getting a book about his success stories and not talk about his failures? >> back at usc, schwarzenegger was joined by several leading politicians known for crossing party lines. >> i'm trying to meet someone in that 11% who would approve of us because i'd like to ask him or her what they approve of. >> he left with similarly low approval ratings, but judging by those who read his book, he may recapture his popularity as an author. one former california high ranking official tells me he's read portions of the book and tells me it's a very revealing, very funny account. this elected official is a democrat. wolf? >> thanks very much. i suspect that book is going to do well. >> very, very interesting. many people would like to read
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that story. still to come, a story involving yard sale, a space launch an a bobble head. what more could you need? [♪...] >> announcer: with nothing but his computer, an identity thief is able to use your information to open a bank account in order to make your money his money. [whoosh, clang] you need lifelock, the only identity theft protection company that now monitors bank accounts for takeover fraud. lifelock: relentlessly protecting your identity. call 1-800-lifelock or go to lifelock.com today. [ woman ] ring. ring. progresso.
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above california. you added a little extra glue to make sure his head didn't fly off. >> that's right. it's not presidential to lose your head in space. obama lost his head. >> found it there on the mud flap. but sean isn't a mud slinger against obama, its spothers launched the bobble head to raise money for him, putting the flight to the music from e.t. the idea was to promote yard sales for obama. note the bobble head's picket fence. the yard sales, where supporters sold their stuff, raised only a few thousand dollar, but bobble head obama was raised 100,000 feet. a balloon which held a platform, the cameras and bobble head. up they went above the golden gate bridge, through the clouds
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and then with the earth's curvature behind him, the helium balloon burst as expected at that altitude. parachute deployed landi ining miles from the launch site. five times they launched. one landed in the pacific ocean. they added modifications to add buoyancy. >> these are just pool noodles. >> the final video is a compilation of the best footage from the five flights. bobble head obama returned to earth with one viz bable nick. >> right there, you can kind of see that his head as it banged into it -- >> the president got dinged, but candidates tend to become experts at nodding, spinning. jeanne moos, cnn. new york. ♪ >> great. bobble head. have you ever seen

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